where wildly different is perfectly normal
Music that classical stations should never play before 10 am or a pot of coffee
Music that classical stations should never play before 10 am or a pot of coffee

Music that classical stations should never play before 10 am or a pot of coffee

music that classical stationsEvery morning I haul my poor tired butt out of bed, haul other poor tired little butts out of bed, and curse the morning start the day. Because I have music playing nearly 24/7 here, I usually click on over to WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station, to start the day off right. The station has been playing wind ensemble music more lately, and generally the morning music is pretty good.

However. There is just some music that should never, ever be played while the sun is is grumbling its way into the sky. It’s just.too.early. I think station programmers forget this.

  • Organ anything. Air huffing past big metal pipes is not as sonorous as one might think, when you’re dunking your head into a sink full of coffee.
  • Oboe concerti. Seriously? The instrument on a good day sounds like a constipated duck, please don’t put on a 30 minute concerto of honks and disappear.
  • Charles Ives. Dear lord. His birthday was a few weeks ago and the station, as it does with most composers, planned several of his pieces for our listening pleasure. No. Just no. I get the shakes listening to Ives. When I was a freshman in high school we played (or attempted to…or slaughtered) “Circus Band March.” The director finally just told us that if we started together and ended together that’d be fine. Because the universe is a kind and benevolent one, that particular concert was snowed out and we never had to perform it. The station queued that very piece up last month and the CD player died. Several times. What was that? Oh, just the universe saying don’t play that, bro.
  • Pierrot Lunaire. Actually, this should never be played, period. That said, it’s perfection when you add goats.
  • Opera. Brünnhilde has no place in the world before 10 am local time. Maybe even later.
  • Harpsichord. Pluckity pluckity pluck pluck NO.
  • If the piece is described as twelve-tone, avant-garde, cutting-edge, or experimental, just slide that sucker back onto the shelf. Preferably with a little extra oomph, so it falls behind something, never to be seen again.
  • Taiko drums. Are you nuts? The coffee is trying to get rid of a morning headache. Shove those drums where the sun don’t shine, m’kay?

Just ease me into the day soft and easy, that’s all I’m asking.


  1. qH

    Oh, oh, I’d object on behalf of my double-reed kindred, but I never liked the oboe much either.

    I grew up on Bach. All the time, Bach. At home. At church. (I learned to read music when the organist/director had me “turn pages” for him during the postludes. As if he needed help.) I blame Bach for my OCD sometimes. Anything after Chopin is crazy modern to my ears. I’d suck it up for Britten during the opera season because those subscriptions are expensive. (Or were; I can’t afford one now.)

    My child (who is taken to concerts–of a rather random variety–weekly, because they’re free) likes avant-guarde anything. Eastern European I have never heard of, let alone attempt to pronounce their names. Syncopated crazy-making.

    (I guess it’s my mind that’s being pried open, not hers.)

    1. Jen

      I have a true love-hate relationship with Bach. I love the precision of it, that it truly has the universe in it. But damn, playing it is freaking brutal. His bm sonata for flute…we actually sing to the opening phrase: “the loooongest Baaaach sonataaaaa, iiit goes on and on and ne-ver ends!” Because seriously, a 30 minute minor sonata?

Whaddya think?

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